Earlier this week, Michigan Stated initiated the process of firing head football coach Mel Tucker for cause following a sexual harassment allegation. Last November, MSU announced that Tucker had signed a 10-year, $95 million contract. On September 18, the university sent a letter from athletic director Alan Haller to the third-year and said his contract could be terminated early if the coach « engages in any conduct which constitutes moral turpitude or which, in the university’s reasonable judgment, would tend to bring public disrespect, contempt or ridicule upon the university. » Tucker is accused of sexually harassing prominent sexual assault awareness speaker Brenda Tracy during a phone call last year. According to the report, Tracy and Tucker developed a friendship over her advocacy work, but the relationship changed in April 2022 when he allegedly masturbated during the phone call. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM Tucker admitted to masturbating, but stated that his actions were part of a consensual intimate relationship. Tucker has since been suspended without pay. MSU hired an independent investigator to examine the allegations. A recent report from the USA TODAY suggested that the embattled coach has not been completely truthfully throughout the investigation. MEL TUCKER SAYS MICHIGAN STATE PULLED ‘ABOUT-FACE’ IN INVESTIGATION, ‘OTHER MOTIVES AT PLAY’ TO FIRE HIM According to the report, Tucker was in a Florida school-sponsored event when he made the April 2022 phone call. Records obtained by the USA TODAY showed that Tucker met with community leaders and alumni before later going to his hotel room in Naples. However, Tucker reportedly told the school’s investigator that he had not been in Florida on a work-related trip. « It’s just one example of Tucker failing to keep his story straight at the most consequential moment of his career, » USA TODAY reported. Tucker has approximately $80 million remaining on his contract, but the school would not have to pay him the remaining portion if he is terminated for cause. The investigator and USA TODAY both obtained documents and witness statements that challenge some aspects of Tucker’s version of events. Tracy was initially scheduled to make another visit to MSU’s campus to speak with coaches and players in July. But according to the investigation report, Tucker canceled the visit a few days before it was set to take place. During her interview with the investigator, Tracey said she had called Tucker to find out why her appearance had been canceled. She then reportedly claimed that during the phone call Tucker suggested he would damage his career if she were to go public about his alleged misconduct. Her visit was ultimately never rescheduled. Elizabeth Abdnour, a Lansing-based attorney and former Michigan State Title IX investigator, said that since this case does not have any eyewitnesses or recordings, it will likely come down to whose account is viewed as more credible. « It’s very, very unusual that you would have some outside piece of evidence that would give you a clear decision, » Abdnour said. « Very often, you’re weighing credibility based on little bits and pieces of information. » « In my experience, a clear sign of a lack of credibility is generally taken very seriously. » A hearing is scheduled to begin in October to determine whether Tucker violated school policies concerning sexual harassment and exploitation. Tucker did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. Longtime MSU assistant Harlon Barnett has been named the interim football coach. Former Spartans coach Mark Dantonio has also been brought on as a consultant.
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Publish date : 2023-09-23 21:07:44
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